{review} Victoria Bridal Boutique

Victoria Bridal Boutique by Lily Ann Photo

Victoria Bridal Boutique offers bridal gowns, wedding planning and décor all in one busy location

At Victoria Bridal Boutique, it isn’t just about helping a bride find her special dress. For owner, Sherrie Galey, and partner, Beauty Bride Eva Satchell, it’s about listening to each bride’s love story, wedding details, and style, and then using that knowledge to make sure they find their dream wedding gown that fits the personality of both the bride and her wedding day. So, for brides who want a wedding gown that speaks to their personal, creative flare, not to mention help with planning and/or décor, this is one location that should be added to the must-see list. A one stop shop for planning, advice and help for your big day.

The team at Victoria Bridal Boutique and Beauty Bride makes it their mission to help each bride relax and enjoy their gown shopping experience, which is why they don’t make demands… During each one and a half hour appointment, there is no set amount of gowns you can try on and you’re likely to find consultants who are as excited about finding your perfect gown as you are.

The Victoria Bridal Boutique and Beauty Bride team really care about the shop, striving to deliver more than brides are used to, especially when it comes to service, options and prices. According to Sherrie, in-store gowns range in price so they can cater to any bride or bridesmaid, no matter her budget.

The Wedding Ring sat down with Sherrie and Eva and talked about design, budget and brides, all in an effort to find out why so many brides fall in love with Victoria Bridal Boutique…

Victoria Bridal Boutique by Curtis Pelletier

 

The shop that grew…

In her life before bridal gowns, Sherrie was ECE certified and worked as a teacher. Now, she says, “I love teaching women about fashion and weddings!”

Eva, on the other hand, has always been ‘all about weddings’. She has worked in the industry in England and Australia and finally graced Vancouver Island with her bubbly spirit and irrepressible sense of adventure.

Sherrie’s personal experience with shopping for wedding gowns with a family member is what ultimately led her to open Victoria Bridal Boutique. She says that when she was looking, it felt like the stores they visited were not listening to the bride, and there seemed to be a lack of affordable dresses that could still be that dream gown. “And the service was not what I was expecting” says Sherrie. This is the main reason that she opened, first in her home with an off-the-rack inventory, then with manufacturers, then to a shop and, finally, in the location she is currently at. “We take pride in allowing the customer to look around, try on and admire the beautiful dresses we have in our studio.”

Eva joined Sherrie at the Boutique when she recognized the opportunity to blend the gown experience with her talent for event planning and décor. She especially loved the opportunity that the space gave her to play with décor. Now when you walk into the Boutique you are immediately presented with an ever changing scenery of artistic ideas!

In their current home at #3 – 2553 Quadra Street in Victoria, Sherrie and her staff love their inspiring space that allows them to welcome brides into a comfortable setting. There is room for Eva to redecorate on a regular basis (pretty much daily!) but it is high quality service and great wedding gown selection that they attribute to their success with brides and their entourages thus far.

Even after dealing with so many brides, Sherrie and Eva have not lost their passion and caring, telling us that brides continue to inspire them. “We love working with brides… Each one’s needs, personality and fashion ideas are so different! It’s always a challenge to match the girl to the dress. It’s just fun and it grants us a real sense of achievement when the moment happens that a girl finds the dress of her dreams.”

Victoria Bridal Boutique by Curtis Pelletier

Taking your time at the boutique…

Sherrie and Eva wish for each bride to relax and enjoy her gown shopping experience. And while they have a huge selection of wedding gowns, we were told that the “best part is getting to know the bride”.  All appointments are one on one and they work hard to be informative without any pressure. Sherrie says that each bride is taken care of from the moment she enters the store to find her dream gown, right up until the final fittings (and even after, during follow-up conversations).

She assures us that every bride is welcome, no matter the budget. “No bride is wasting our time, no matter how little or how much a bride can spend.” They are very open to the challenged bride, who perhaps has a certain vision in mind. “We like to solve problems and love watching a bride’s frustration turn to happiness!”

Kim, who found her dream dress at Victoria Bridal Boutique, loved the atmosphere. “The best part was Sherrie – interacting with her and her staff. She seemed like the kind of person I would hang out with!  She reminded me, 100 percent, of an old friend.”

Victoria Bridal Boutique offers bridal gowns that range from $200 to $2500 as well as working hard to ensure there is something for everyone including their Italian designer lines. As well, there are bridesmaids gowns, mother of the bride gowns, veils, headpieces, and jewellery. One of our favorite spots was the ‘bridesmaid and prom dress room’!

Sherrie and her staff pride themselves on being great listeners and focused on each bride’s requests so they can better understand her individuality. “If you really listen, you will know what a bride is looking for,” we were told. In fact, they would like to know all wedding details from your love story right down to the theme of the day, so that they can best match you to your special gown, complementing you and your wedding. Eva especially prides herself on having a second sense about what a bride will look good in but she is careful to allow the bride to first try on what she likes so that she can enjoy the shopping experience. “Then I bring in the gown that is going to make the bride melt!” says Eva.

Eva has a real touch with veils as well. She carefully customizes veils for her brides sitting for hours sewing beads onto veils or ‘hot fixing’ crystals to bling out the look as per a bride’s wishes!

Bride, Kim Neuhaus, loved her experience with Victoria Bridal Boutique. “It was really relaxed and comfortable. Some boutiques gave no help but Sherrie was easygoing and friendly. I ended up chatting with the girls while standing in my dress and, by the time we finished, I felt incredibly comfortable with my choice and who would be helping me through the experience!”

At Victoria Bridal Boutique they work very hard at finding designers who make quality dresses at good prices. They carry a number of designer gowns but are also drawn to designers who create light, flowy dresses that are less formal.

Sherrie feels that her goal of “offering the boutique experience without the boutique prices” has been achieved. And when we sit in her spacious shop and look around at the wonderful gown choices, we would have to agree.

 

Walking you through the experience

Most dresses take about four to six months to order through Victoria Bridal Boutique (unless you’re buying off the rack), so you should definitely visit the shop within that time frame. Though Sherrie recommends sooner, if possible, just to make sure you leave yourself enough time to order the dress of your dreams.

‘Walk-in’s are always welcomed at Victoria Bridal Boutique; but, to make sure that you receive the one-on-one attention you deserve (and for your convenience), they recommend booking an appointment in advance. Luckily for working brides, Sherrie encourages evening bookings.

When you do visit to try on gowns, they won’t make any demands of you – each 1.5 hour appointment is tailored toward the bride and her needs which means there’s no time limit to the amount of gowns you can try on or amount of styles. You can even take a photo of yourself in the dress to help you make your decision (some gown shops frown upon this). They will want to hear about any fashion likes/dislikes and body issues you may feel you have! In fact, they can book an appointment with you outside of regular hours if that works better.

Once you find the perfect gown (with the help of the VBB girls, of course), you’re fitted to your measurements and the dress is ordered to your specific requests. A 50% deposit is required to order your gown. Then, the remaining 50% is due when the gown arrives.

Victoria Bridal Boutique’s contact with brides doesn’t stop when the gown is purchased, though. Sherrie has noticed that a bride’s size between buying her dress and her wedding day often changes which means they have to be ready to make changes on the dress. “Most brides tell us they are going to lose weight. We have even worked with trainers to track the size of our bride!”

Once everything is accessorized and the alterations are finished to everyone’s satisfaction, the gown is steamed and packed to go. Brides are encouraged to return after their big day and have their dress cleaned through Victoria Bridal Boutique.

Sherrie says that her average bride spends $1000.00 in her shop. Kim, explained, “My dress happened to be the most expensive in the store but it was still reasonable and well priced compared to others.”

Victoria Bridal Boutique by Curtis Pelletier

Décor, taken to another level

It is impossible to miss the decor that now fills Victoria Bridal Boutique thanks to Eva of Beauty Bride. Eva feels that “décor should be a really fun and enjoyable part of every couple’s day.” She loves knowing what the couple envisions for the final look and then she can create the possible décor service to bring that look to life. She encourages couple’s to send her their Pinterest boards or brainstorm an original idea with her.

Eva is genuinely excited by every event she is planning and/or putting together décor around. “I absolutely love taking on any challenge when it comes to planning and creating beauty for a wedding or event!”

Mirror Mirror Design Palette | Photos: Lilly Ann Photography
Mirror Mirror Design Palette | Photos: Lilly Ann Photography

Eva offers free customized packages filled with photos and décor ideas that work with the couple’s vision along with quotes and various price points. The couple can then follow the ‘pick and choose’ quotation and fit the look to their budget.

Eva admits that her ‘downfall’ is fabric and the looks it can create; “I especially love to play with fabrics and linens…pinning and draping so as to change a room or table into a fabulous creation. Head tables are my favorite thing!”

Eva offers a huge selection of items in your chosen colors and thematic choice of décor. And what she doesn’t have she will figure out! The ‘décor play room’ boasts a table and décor items which allows couple’s to try out different looks and color choices until they find the one they love.

A few of our favourite things…

  • The shop’s atmosphere is fun, lively, and all about weddings. Each time we have visited, there’s been a familiar buzz of friendly chatter between guests and staff. It just shows that people love shopping there and that the staff love their work.
  • The easy going and relaxed shopping experience.
  • Sherrie and Eva have a reputation for diving into just about any fashion or design project with all four feet – including style photo shoots – in fact, that is how we at The Wedding Ring staff first met Sherrie!
  • Victoria Bridal Boutique supports local charities. Every year they have a large wedding dress sale in support of cancer research.
  • The Boutique’s inventory is for everyone. Everything from the luxurious princess gown to the gown that a punk bride might wear can be found in the shop! As Kim said about finding her dress, “The dress I was looking for was only at their bridal boutique and I had been all over Victoria and Nanaimo. I had an idea and there it was!”

vbb by curtis pelletier

Contacting & visiting Victoria Bridal Boutique

You will find Sherrie and Eva at 3948 Quadra St. Unit 2, in Victoria. You can reach them for appointments (they welcome evening guests) at250.721.9500 or email vbb@shaw.ca. For décor/event planning only you can email beautybride@live.ca. Find them online atwww.victoriabridalboutique.com and book your appointment online!

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